Labours of love

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This is hopefully not a soppy story (though there were some real tears at the end ;-))! But because it really feels like a dream, almost as if it happened to somebody else, I feel the need to capture it for my own memory in years to come.

So, before I get to what people may actually be interested in reading, impressions of the play, acting, etc, I’ve decided to share with you the journey that took me there last weekend.

The Crucible experience was such an unusual and emotional ‘entry’ point into a new fandom I always doubted if anything could live up to it. While any material is interesting I think we probably all have our natural preferences towards one medium or another, TV, stage work, audiobooks, etc. (But we all need the lot to actually complete the picture!) For me it is probably live theatre and audiobooks before other things. The why’s are probably better left to another times, but it’s probably due to emotional immediacy, impact.

So I was really glad the wait for more stage work ended sooner than I expected. What I didn’t think about of course is that, unlike TV or film projects where we have a lot of advance warning, theatre projects are almost on the hoof. Well, for me, not him! It’s not like I haven’t contemplated trips across the pond ever before… I have done it again and again, for Jonas Kaufmann’s Siegmund, for his Werther, not for his Tosca but certainly for his Parsifal (which in hindsight I should have thought about harder and definitely done!).  Contemplated, calculated and always discarded and that is for things I had considerable more notice about than just 6 months. There always have been the priorities of visiting home twice a year at least, commitments here, tickets to travel and see things elsewhere. Nothing until now was so tempting I literally couldn’t resist planning for real or at least trying for it.

But while I was balancing at the edge looking down I didn’t consider friendly shoves which really got the ball rolling (jholland ;-)). Friends enveloped me in their generous ticketing plans even though I couldn’t even commit to being able to come! I had initially thought that I’ll figure out if I can even afford a flight at all before I would start buying tickets J But of course that’s not how ticket sales work. Regardless of anything else I knew my only chance was to push the potential date as far out as I could to give myself a chance to gather the budget for it.

Thus began a journey of more than anything else wishful thinking and dreaming and taking small steps towards a goal that to me seemed as impossible as going to the moon…

Some priorities cannot be ignored and I had to sort out this year’s Christmas trip first before I began any planning for a trip across the Atlantic.

And then in the midst of trying to plot my milestones on the path to possibilities… Brexit happened!

And it would turn out to be more than just a complication. One of the many requirements for my trip was obtaining a visa. This meant not just extensive paperwork, but also in person interviews at authorities. Which would require me to have a passport to go along to these things and get a visa on…

But, I’d suddenly become a EU citizen in a country wanting to leave the EU. Where nothing was guaranteed anymore, where my status, work contracts, my very daily life would depend on likely changes in law and the whims of governments who suddenly didn’t care how long you had been a tax paying and working person here.

So once again any plans for fun had to take a significant back seat to real life. And instead of thinking visas and trips I had to think legal status, residency, permanency or looking at potentially packing my bags. Since after initial panic and doubts packing bags was not the option for me I had to knuckle down to the serious business of exploring law, legal avenues of residency, steps it requires, paperwork, fees etc. My life is here now and it sort of becomes clearest when most in question I guess. You end up looking at your life and making decisions you didn’t think you’d have to make. I’ve always before thought in terms of opportunities, things I would like to do, thinks I can do, thinks certain work would allow me to do, steps forward if you will. Suddenly it all became literally about survival, securing the roof over my head and most importantly my job, which had only 2 months before been totally unsure. It has been the most unsettling of years to have to deal with likely redundancy and when that was barely resolved to how your whole life thrown in the air.

I therefore can’t put down not taking any holidays to a master-plan around a trip.  Truth is there is just not enough time or budget around trips home for holidays worth they name. The trip to Scotland 2 years ago being my small 10 day rebellion against this trend J But with all this anxiety going on, holiday dreams were parked away. ‘THE’ trip wouldn’t count as one as even when I first looked at it I knew the maximum I would be able to do if at all would be a very short weekend.

So summer passed wading through the murky waters of bureaucracy while being constantly freaked out by the news which only promised more uncertainty. The increased workload at work since the job reshuffle also meant I complained much less about the ‘save for THE trip’ measures  😉 I usually work all summer with no breaks – fits in well with the holidays of my colleagues with kids – and spend evenings going to the Proms concerts at the Royal Albert Hall or the occasional weekend day get away trip to opera at Glyndebourne outside Lewes.

This summer there was only 1 concert with Rossini’s Semiramide at the very end of the Proms because I really desperately craved good music. And nothing else, no eating out escapades either which are also easier to cut if you don’t go out to performances in the first place.

Work trips away from London also helped keep me from temptations J

But, at the end of August there was finally the most important step in making ‘THE trip’ possible. I booked a flight! Except, excited as I was, I booked two flights since the agency website had a major hick up and didn’t give me the confirmation the first time round. It took them 2 weeks to refund me for the error and they charged a shameless fee for doing it! GR!! That could have been ticket money. Or funds for any of the other pots screaming to be filled J

Not only that, but while doing research on all the options and prices I watched preferred routes/times disappear beyond the limits of affordability and was forced to hurry booking and choose options which would only bring me in time for performance if there was absolutely no flight delay, no snow, no fog, no excessive traffic even. And that not only on the way there, but also on the way back where I would have to leg it from theatre to airport, quite literally. All that at a time when the duration of the play was not yet confirmed and I was praying to all theatre God the performance would come in at under 3h. Yes, I agree with all of you that smells of crazy! I have actually done stuff like that before: from airport to theatre and then sometimes even back to airport/train station and even at a running pace… BUT not across the ocean. I was treating L-NY like L-Wien or worse L-Paris, conscious that it would very likely be nothing like that. Worst case scenario – I would miss out on performances either on the way in or on the way out, or OMG both L (And guess what the single point and purpose of a crazy weekend trip across miles of water was after all?! The dream about a week in Ny to explore its attractions had long since been canned).

By September I had finally gotten my residency paperwork together, filled out, nicely organised and sent it off. At which point it dawned me that I had a major problem. My passport, needed for the Visa, needed for ‘THE trip’ was also needed at the Home Office for residency procedures… Ooops.

Then  a few weeks later HO advised they had received the stuff and it would take… 6 months. OOOOPS!! Ok, understandable – mountains to process from all those like me, feeling the same anxiety and not wanting to move away 😉 Fair enough. But in terms of ‘THE trip’ maaaaajor OOOOPPPSSS!!!

I knew I had to get down to scheduling the in person interview because slots go fast and you need to get yours in their diary at least 1 month in advance before the date it will happen. So in October I filled in that lot of paperwork, which turned out to be 80% as extensive as the one I had just done and sent it online and with the confirmation uploaded required photos and finally scheduled an interview early in November.

The calendar became my ticking clock!

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Wishes are very important! 🙂

But hang on… all there was for ‘THE trip’ was a flight!!!! So, erring on the side of optimism in a climate of generalised anxiety I extended grubby hands to hold on to the tickets so generously offered to me!! And finally put the money where my mouth was wagging 😉 Preciouusssssss…miiiiiinnneeeee.  And also eagerly accepted the even more generous offer of hotel room sharing! I call you lovely person – my enabler J :-*** You made me both crazier and provided the life line and the silver lining to the year that was all but nice.

September – for those who don’t live their year like some of my tickets&shows –obsessed friends and me by the ‘booking’ rounds rather than the 4 seasons – is the time when all venues (operas, concert venues especially but also theatres) go into booking for the next 4-6 months and sometimes beyond. It was Winter bookings at ROH, Spring bookings at the Wigmore and so on. My yearly ROH membership also expired. And nothing got renewed, nothing new got booked. For the first time in literally years my always at 20+ upcoming performances in my ROH (includes ballet) scheduled started dwindling. And make no mistake they do remind you and call you (like on the telephone) when you don’t book. Same happened in the December booking round and I am now down to 2 remaining tickets until May 2017. Well, the tickets end in Jan 2017… the bookings covered all the way to May 2017. And in the case of the Wigmore, all the rest of the season to summer 2017.

This may sounds like a lot but I had to be. I book very early because I book the cheapest tickets. Years of practice 😉 and trying out have optimised where I sit in the houses so I can go more often and pay as little as possible. We’re talking 6-18 for ballet and opera J Or 10-25 or such for theatre.

Thanks to local theatres still running day-ticket schemes we were still able to go along and see Kenneth Branagh in the Entertainer for £15 in front row, Platanov at the National for £15 in day tickets and the Red Barn with Mark Strong at the National for £10 J A very satisfying result of much more careful and more seldom eating out. Work overload also encouraged some returning of existing opera tickets (from bookings in spring).

So I decided to go crazy and buy those additional theatre tickets for ‘THE trip’. The ones I would likely not make or have to leave early. So I thought: let’s hope there are still some left and let’s get cheap one given the risk. Right. Cheap ones? 1 price for all. Ok…. Oh, what the hell since it is all in or nothing, let’s be crazy…-er. So, now I had filled every waking moment with a ticket: arrival later afternoon +play, get up jet lagged likely and play ..x2, sleep v little, get up pack+play – run to airport. Makes perfect sense.

Except excitement hit again (and no, I have never ever in my entire life booked a flight twice before and also not ever in years of bookings and hundreds of tickets purchased made this mistake before): instead of Friday and Sunday since Saturday was sorted I booked Friday+Saturday… and took 2 weeks to realise my mistake! Non-refundable tickets- great! Email, explain, look like a numpty – ask politely for change? Told to call, figure out international call, pay yet more booking fees but finally able to exchange wrong Saturday for correct Sunday ticket. Phew, all done.

WAIT. Not quite… minor detail. Upcoming interview for visa at embassy. And no passport. Yes, NO PASSPORT! Home Office had not been heard of again and neither had they responded to my begging letter attached to the paperwork to please return my passport as soon as possible.

(There was also the slowly approaching Christmas trip to my parents whose only child I am and who would not be please to not see me if I wasn’t able to fly due to lack of passport).

My lovely enabler also surprisingly helped with my impeding panic attack by asking the question which had not even occurred to me: can you ask documents back formally? I just assumed I couldn’t as the proceedings were of significance and should take precedence over other fun plans. Turns out we found a way (un-helpfully not described or linked where you make your application, hmpf!).

But the visa interview was nevertheless approaching so, before I processed the request of document return, I decided to push it out a bit while I still could to give the passport an extra chance to make it back to me. So I figured – flight on the 2nd, interview on the 29th (which was the only later date available) should be ok, 2 days in between. Good thinking you say. Well…. You’ll see.

Document return request sent off and lo and behold Home Office kindly delivers like clockwork! 2 Days before my initial interview date passport arrives! We are talking 20 November now, ‘THE trip’ is in 10 days. Imagine me looking at the calendar each day before passport came… growing white by the second!

Since it is here I finally announce to all my friends at a delayed birthday dinner I am going! And also try to pull back said interview to it’s original date.  But while one can delay pulling forward seems to not be an option.

I also managed to catch the ‘office cold’ in the last few days and was trying to manage that as best as I could and it seemed to be mostly in control, thankfully.

It’s now the morning of the 29th of November. And I am still keeping the suspense going for my lovely enabler because in theory without a visa everything can go to pots. I assume – wrongly – this is a 1 on 1 interview and I’ll be out of there waltzing away with a visa in 30 min. Not so much.

4 Hours later world end happens. After all proceedings and 2 interviews at the end of the interview when I am told my visa is granted I innocently ask if I can pick up my passport the morning after? An the very polite officer says that would be impossible! They have to proceed to further standard security checks which take and average of 7 days. 7 days. 7 DAYS!!!!! But.. my flight is this Friday morning… in 2 days!!!  She looks at the details but shakes her head and said : it’s impossible. I’ll try to put a note on the file but it needs to go through the process. She asked me if I still wanted the visa and I said yes although at this stage I was in a trance.

I am really lucky I didn’t get run over by a bus or a car on my way back to the office that day. It felt as if it was happening to somebody else. Thankfully by a lucky coincidence our own Guylty was in town with work that night so I got to unload some of the frustration on poor Guylty! And we had some relaxing fun J And found a way to solve my main worry: that the tickets would be unused and those seats would be empty in the theatre! I really didn’t want that and I wished for people to be able to use them and enjoy them. And thus 3 more enablers joined the party (lovely Daphne, nycpat and armitagebesotted)! Over the next day the 6 of us figured out together the best way to distribute the tickets among those who would definitely be there so that at least some fun would come out of the whole mess.

To make things even funnier the next day I had a long meeting in the office with one Mr.. Armitage! (I could not make this up!) And my email was full of reminders from the Roundabout about upcoming performances and the RA also send me emails that day! (Royal Academy but it’s RA on the emails).

Thursday luchtime (2 days later), in a quick breather from the monthly reporting I wished everyone fun over the weekend and confirmed that it was a no go as I had had no new at all and as suspected checks had taken as long as they said they would.

Thursday 3pm – I get an email notification from the embassy saying the passport had been released to the delivery firm!!!! The pick up office is on the other side of London from my work and they close at 5pm! And I had not finished the monthly reporting! In fact, we had an unusual number of errors and problems with the files so we were much delayed! I did my utmost to not think about the f***g passport and work, work, work and 4.10pm I managed to email the file and 4.15pm I was running out of the office to the tube leaving word that I might be back in work tomorrow morning but a very grumpy me or I might not be in at all as per my holiday request long approved.

Thursday 4.55pm I run out of breath into the delivery office and the nice man looks at my pick up number and says: oh, it is not on our system yet, we don’t have it. Sometimes they send the notifications early. I have to be honest and say I hadn’t actually raised my hopes at this point because I just didn’t believe it could happen anymore. I explained to him I had gotten the email and the flight was tomorrow but I guess I just had bad luck. An then he says: oh, when is your flight tomorrow??? Me: 11am. He: oh well, it is still possible! Me: what? No, just forget it I understand it is not going to happen now. He: well, people are in the office from 7,30am so you could come in early and see if it is in the morning delivery and figure out if you can make it to airport. You could try , he says, I recon you have a good chance.

I just got back on tube and came across London and got home and just sat here on the sofa for about 1h not knowing what the hell to do. All advice says for US flights be there 3h in advance.. Just so that I don’t say I haven’t looked I check TFL to find out what public transport takes.. 50 min with like 3 tubes and 1 train. Hm.. I end up calling a taxi company I use and ask them how long it would take from the City all the way to Heathrow. They say usually less than 1h but 1 h if traffic bad (you think? 8am in London through town center…).

I’m unpacked, un-prepared, exhausted and just numb. It’s around 8pm. What to do? I lean on the people whom I’ve dragged into this misery, my enables. I email the gang and relate the happenings and my dilemma. Everyone jumps up and tells me to throw my knickers in a suitcase and get my backside to the delivery office first thing in the morning! And they say what I couldn’t even think of anymore: that I would always wonder if it could have been but I wasn’t there to pick the darn passport up! So I finally get into gear and start running round the place like a mad women, finding the print outs of tickets, checking in for the flight, throwing clothes in a suitcase, finding my travel sickness tablets, looking for the passport to put in handbag.. oh wait, right, I don’t have THAT Continue packing, get showered and finally 1am decide to figure out how I would get myself from JFK to hotel should I happen to fly! Oh and book a taxi from that delivery office before 8am to take me to airport. And then go to bed.

7,30 next morning after some sleep and standing on one leg in packed tube to City. Walk into the delivery office only to be told they haven’t scanned the passports in yet, need to wait for them to be done, likely 8am. 15 min later my taxi arrives and I have to explain to the driver he has to wait because I don’t actually know where I am going that morning.

7.55am 2nd December 2016 – Man says: here it is! It was the first one! I grab it and start running to the further way parked taxi saying: Heathrow T3, we’re going! Now!!!

Needless to say I spent the 1h trip to airport constantly putting passport in handbag and taking ot back out and gaping at the visa and repeating that in between texting everyone and emailing everyone like mad (though none could read it in the middle of the night in US!!!). Telling my London friends that after all and last minute I was running towards a flight and my US lovely room mate that she would be sharing after all!

Made it leisurely through airport and security, on flight and arrived some 8 h later at JFK… sick as  a dog!!!!!

But that’s the next chapter of ‘THE trip’ J

Much love to all you 6 people who kept me sane and had a high contribution in actually dragging me across the pond when I had effectively given up! And also thanks to both Home Office and US embassy who were both nearly the death of me but also saved the day when it mattered!

I don’t regret a thing and although maybe I would change things I stand by every decision I made and which brought me here, well, there J It was all possible out of love J Love of theatre which moved me to a point where I wanted to go, love from friends who helped make it possible and lent so much support, love that’s been going strong for 2 years and which made me think the impossible could be possible and which made me wish for something wonderful in an absolutely shitty year until recently. Love which inspires dreams and wishes and which reminds me that we need these in our lives where we deal with reality. We need the little bit of crazy and love to reminds us of the things that make us very happy.

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42 thoughts on “Labours of love

  1. Pingback: Chapter 1 of Hariclea’s trip to see #LLLPlay | Me + Richard Armitage

        • Yes, i’m hopeful in spite of what looks like a very long wait. I was fully prepared to sacrifice any fun trip for that. It’s why i never even looked properly for recovering the documents and such. It will be a massive relief if/when it happens. I’ll shout out 😉

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        • I have another friend who did this same thing in the UK recently and it was one long tale of woe (although she’s not an EU citizen). You’ve got the passport in hand now — so you can go home for Xmas? Or do you have to return it to them?

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        • Yes i have passport, so parents happy and i am not looking forward to being in airports again at Xms 😉 But it is what it is. No, thankfully i don’t as i also had the old expired one which i left with them and in any case it is just ID. I will have to get issued with a separate ID if this goes through, get fingerprinted and such. Which is why they were able to release it as they don’t need to do anything with it (it’s not even an electronic one). They can always contact me if they need it back for some reason. It’s been very time consuming but have to say not the worst, visa was worst. This you fill in, put documents to it , send off and are not bothered again until they communicate to you. Citizenship will be a different kettle of fish but i am determined to do that too. I wavered after Brexit, but every country people have good and bad times. And living in London my reasons for accepting to become a citizen and having 2 citizenships remain after all. Residency is security, the other for me means more and i did think about it a lot, may still do. But it is also factual that i am very integrated in mist ways, so i should really accept who i have become.

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        • You are right, but it was much harder than i thought. It broke my heart to leave Edinburgh and i think it was mostly people which made this home for me in the end. But a part of Scotland will always be in my heart 🙂 As will Timisoara of course. But i understand sometimes when people say it’s difficult to say 100% where is home when you go between places.

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  2. Pingback: An Excursion to NYC for Love, Love, Love | preoccupiedwitharmitage

  3. Oh, my dear me! (Actually (like Servetus) it is “Jesus Christ” I want to exclaim!!) What a story!! Absolutely had no idea it was sooooooooooo nerve-wracking, and soooooooso last-minute for you to finally make it on that plane to NYC. Hope soon there will be some time to chat (in natura) about all this madness and what the hell is all this Brexit sh..t about… already!!! So, so glad you made it!!! 😀 I thought that the bookings for my trip to NYC were kind of short-termed, stressful and exciting, but…….Herrjemineeeee!!!!!

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    • not quite short termed as i had to make it happen financially but yes, i felt like Bilbo… going on an adventure! 🙂 With plenty goblins on the way LOL
      I still feel bad about disclosing the lot because i know there are people who would have loved to go as much as i did and weren’t able to. But i didn’t take anything for granted and in the end it was the biggest surprise that i did and i really really know how lucky i was to be able to go. It puts a smile on a bad year and i mostly shared it to remind myself to never give up, have hope, think of the positives and also remember that it was good in the end. And also that there are ways of making peace with not going as well if that’s what happens.
      I was very very lucky and i am very grateful for that.

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  4. You did look tired on Friday. Now I understand why! Holy moly, what an odyssey! Yes, I was one of those “enablers” throwing out last-minute flippant quips via e-mail. Glad you found them “helpful.” Now that I hear the whole story, I realize you could have found them to be additional irritations! As the English say, it all got “sorted” in the end, and yes, we fangirls do take care of our own! I’m eager to hear your report(s) on the play. No pressure, but hey, you’ve got a few weeks before you have to get on a plane again, so….

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    • He! ;-), i was ko! I swear (and fear it!) i am much more talkative in my normal state and up for many more adventures. I really am 😉 As people who spent 2 days cueing with me for a premiere of a film can attest to! But by the time i hit the hotel i was literally shivering. I was lucky i had taken some Lemsip sachets with me! Just stuff you pour in hot water here and everyone has when they have a cold. And i spent a lot of time the weekend over trying not to talk too much as to not inhale the cold air and make myself cough. I regret not being able to make the most of our time together but i was also afraid of passing it on to anyone else! (please tell me i didn’t!!)
      I really really loved being able to walk around with you and talk about the city and would to do more of it in the future. I didn’t expect to enjoy the city as much as i did ! Do you know if i jinx it if i reveal my NY confetti wish? If it is not bad luck i’ll tell you what it was 😉
      I would love to explore more of NY and it’s history! and i hope i also get a chance to return the favour here! :-))) xx

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  5. So glad you did take the time to write this up because it really was all just the Craziest. Damn. Thing. LOL! And I did have an idea of how convoluted it all was, but, reading this through, even my head was spinning! Sheesh… there were even more steps and stumbles than I was aware of! Serv’s immediate comment pretty well sums it up (it made me LOL because it was SO spot on!)

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    • LOL, it makes me laugh reading it, it doesn’t sound real! 🙂 i was so tempted to just dive in about the play and us and RA and all that but i had to make myself write this up because the crazy fun we had also came from the crazy way it happened 🙂 The rest should be easier to write as it is just dying to pour our of me 🙂
      I really think it only hit me when we were standing with besotted and Daphne in Times Square!!

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  6. OMG, I am out of breath reading this, even though I was sort of in the midst of it with you, as it happened. You have no idea how I was clinging to the screen of my laptop and smartphone on those days. Typical optimist that I am, I *knew* on Tuesday when we met in London, that all was NOT lost. I *knew* that it was still possible and that miracles do happen. If it is to be, it is to be – and I strongly believe that because I have had my share of crap in the run up to a couple of *my* Armitage-related events, too. It really was by a hair’s breadth, wasn’t it? But in the end it all worked out. And I knew it was worth encouraging you to do it. Not just to see Mr A on stage – but because there was no doubt in my mind that it was worth seeing and meeting those lovely American peeps. I am so so glad it worked out – you did deserve this to go right, after all that trouble, and after a year that has been less than easy for you. As it has happened at the end of this annus horribilis, let’s take it as a sign that it only can get better! You madwoman, you – welcome to our club of loonies 😉 xxx

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    • yes , this was lies madness but it makes us happy 😉
      I am really glad that i didn’t quite understand or get from what people were saying how the play and he in it, or how NY really was and the people 🙂 The fact that i was largely skeptical of everything helped keep me sane i think through it all. And i can honestly say i was prepared to let it go because in the long run residency is essential for me and also that i found a way to deal with not going if that was the outcome. I am glad i had literally no idea how great it all could be because i would have been much sadder at the potential loss!
      But yeah, now we know, don’t we? That experiencing him on stage especially with lovely lovely people and great cities is something that is worth chasing to the end of the world! 🙂 It’s that combo which makes it such a potent experience! I have no idea why i was so lucky and i did feel i needed to take the time in NY to give thanks to whatever made it possible. I am truly grateful for having this experience in my life.

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      • It was special. Not just for the long trip, and even minus the madness you had to go through. But for the whole package. I’d do it again, too. It is like we have often said already – RA is only the trigger. Or maybe he is the incidental enabler of a whole lot of other experiences that we would otherwise not get to have. I like it like that.

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  7. Je compatis, quel triste concours de circonstances. Mon parcours familial est une anecdote vis à vis du votre. Je reste consciente de mon sort bien enviable, car je garde toujours une arrière pensée, pour tous ceux qui risquent journalièrement leur vie, car dénués de papiers.
    Un passeport et un visa valides sont également nécessaires en France. Vous connaissez la réputation des administrations françaises. Mais nous sommes tombés sur une personne charmante. Nous avons du changer de ville pour faire les démarches, malgré tout.
    J’ai découvert le ridicule des contrôles à la douane française à Roissy Charles de Gaulle. Lorsque le détecteur de métaux bloquait mon passage, à cause des armatures de mon soutien gorge. Ce fut le moment le plus humiliant de ma vie. Une telle honte publique à cause de compatriotes. J’aurais mieux compris et accepté, si cela me serait arrivé à NY!

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    • Oh, sorry to hear that, those are bit changes just to settle. I am glad you found a nice civil servant though to help you along and hope everything is sorted now, fingers crossed. As to the other matter, I get that all the time across Europe on flights! not in the UK though, detectors seem to have been adjusted for wired bras 😉 But i hit the alarms in Germany every time and i cross it every time i go home 🙂 I have to say i don’t mind it that much, as the extra measures are for our own safety 🙂 What i never liked is how they faces/attitudes tend to change when they see my passport. But i’ve had a lifetime of that and you get used to it. We learn to accept things we can’t seem to change.
      But it is just one of those things, as a women you just have to accept to go through the patting down routine just because you wear a bra with support 😦 I prefer the full body scanners tbh.
      I think in Europe we’ve learned to live in a border free environment and its become way of life.. until it is challenged and we are forced to remember how things were before and how things are for pretty much 80% or more of the people on this globe. It’s thrown many lives into chaos in some ways, totally necessarily.. sadly i think we will only accept that in years to come and there’s no going back. Accepting an irreversible reality that you simply don’t want is a very frustrating experience. Still bureaucracy here is much less than in most parts of the world so i am not complaining too much about that. 🙂

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  8. I forgot, we will work at Christmas day, so that we could go to NY the 1rst november. We are still Happy , proud to have been able to switch those on duty weekends . I wish you well Hariclea!

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      • Yes it was a great experience for my teenagers and us. We do not travel far very often and that week in NY was the first one for us, together (our first passport). Perhaps the last one, because my son and daughter will study hard next years, far from their home. It was a gift, that told them goodbye kids, goodmorning in adult live, your parents are proud of you.
        Despite our +/- bad level in English, the comedy/drama was instructive, we all laughted and enjoyed it . A caricature of our family unit, except alcohol and smoke. My son asked for the english book for Christmas, to have more thought about the subject. NY is a boosting town, with lot of to do and to discover. We wanted to fly to Japan, I do not regret anything, my madnesses as fan became, in spite of me, the reason of a family epic travel. Sorry I try in English..

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        • Don’t worry about the English i can understand you perfectly in French, it’s just that my written French is not nearly as fluent as my spoken one so it is easier to respond in English, but please feel free to write in French. 🙂
          So glad you had a good family trip and i am sure it was as memorable for the kids as it was for you. Glad they enjoyed the play so much, it is indeed very interesting.

          Like

  9. Pingback: Performance impressions, Love, Love, Love 11/3-11/6 #richardarmitage | Me + Richard Armitage

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